7 rules for being a bad tour guide

A good tour guide. Face the audience and engage in dialogue. Throw in some humor, and show you're actually interested in the subject you're talking about

Being a tour guide was one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. What I did everyday, was what people traveled across the world to do once. So for the guide itself it’s a blessing to have this job, and it’s his job to make the trip to a blessing for the clients. Sometimes that’s not the easiest thing to do, so I’ve come up with a list of rules on how to be a bad tour guide:

Never stop talking

You can never have too much knowledge! Your clients paid for an informational tour, and it’s your job to describe and explain everything. And I mean everything. You finished talking about the piece of art you’re looking at? Finished talking about that rock formation? Guess what, you can always talk about something else. Your love for egg. Your moms obsession with knitting scarfs for dogs. Your uncles toe nail collection. Silence is the enemy, don’t stop talking!

Don’t make it a dialogue

This can’t be stressed enough: you’re guiding and explaining, not talking to people. It shouldn’t be a fun back and forth ordeal where the clients talk to you and you to them, oh no, this is an informational tour. You know all the facts, they don’t. There’s nothing you can learn from them. A dialogue is useless both for expanding your knowledge and it does not make the tour more enjoyable for the clients.

Be stubborn

You are the guide and they are the clients. They can’t possible know anything better than you. Of course the Michael Jackson had a impromptu concert at the Tiananmen Square in 1964 and for them to question that is heresy. If they try and “correct you” remember that you’re the one with the facts. Hold your ground and they will eventually realize how right you are. After all they’re the ones that are paying for your knowledge; if they knew more than you, they would be the tour guide.

Save the questions for the end

Nothing is more annoying than pesky entitled clients that question what you’re saying. They came on your tour to learn, so it’s their responsibility to hear everything you say and note down their questions for later. Ignore the excuses of: “we’re going to forget the questions by the end” or “I didn’t hear what you said”. Those excuses are just that: excuses. If they can’t remember their questions they should’ve brought pen and paper.

Always stick to the schedule

Have old people in your group? Children? A guy with a broken foot? Well, too bad, they didn’t only sign up for a tour, they signed up for a training session. There’s no reason to slow down for them, you got a set amount of things to show them and you have to do it quick! Time is money after all, and you can’t sacrifice that just so that everyone can have time to enjoy the tour. So don’t you dare do that trip slower than the normal time. In fact you should try and do it faster than you’ve ever done it before.

No jokes

What’s worse than pesky questions from the clients, is the horrible jokes. No, Napoleon did not lose the war because he was short, it was because he tried to invade Russia during winter. Remember: you’re at work now, humor stays at home. Under no circumstance are you to mix work and humor. You’re simply here to do your job and recite these facts.

No charisma

Charisma? Enthusiasm? Interest? Those are just fancy words your therapist use at counseling because your wife won’t put up with your infatuated love for pickling bananas. There’s no reason to have any enthusiasm or charisma at work. The clients are not going to leave you, they paid for this. Just keep reciting the facts. After all, the best way to learn is when there is no distractions like like-ability, wittiness or an over enthusiastic guide. There’s nothing worse than an interesting guide.

Have you ever had a tour guide that follows on of these 7 rules? Tell us all about it in the comments and get 100 USD off your next mystery holiday!